Saturday, October 25, 2008

Poets in the Making?

I'm using Lightning Literature this year for English with the boys. We are studying early American literature from the early to mid-19th century. So far it's been difficult, though enjoyable. The difficulty mostly comes because the writing is from the early-19th century. This week we are studying poems and read some poems by William Cullen Bryant.

The assignment the boys were given was to write a poem of their own using a particular rhyme scheme. This turned out to be extremely difficult for Nathan. Because of his learning disability, he has a very hard time with anything to do with writing or recall.

So while he was nice and organized, he came up with nothing after an hour. He can rhyme words but to try to put it all together in a poem, it was impossible for him. He does great with making up poetry as long as it doesn't have to rhyme.

Stephen, on the other hand, excels at this sort of thing. He loves to create stories and poems. The only problem I have with Stephen is the fact that he wants to turn every piece of writing, including research papers, into creative writing.

This is probably reflected in how he likes to write. I peeked into the bedroom to see how he was doing and this is how I found him.

Rather than cause more frustration for him, I changed Nathan's assignment to one where he had to analyze Bryant's view of death. He did much better with this and out of the two boys, really has a wonderful grasp on analyzing and finding the hidden meaning in literature.

The nice thing about homeschooling is that Nathan is able to wrestle with great literature yet it is in the way he learns. Dan tutors children in the special education classes in public school and he assures me that Nathan is getting so much more here than he would in school.

So, I don't know if I have any poets in the making but they certainly are learning what makes good poetry.

I'll leave you with Stephen's poem:

The Mouse

A thief in the night has stolen some food
I must say this is rather rude.
I must find this thief right away
and turn it into the cops today.

As I hunt I notice one thing.
I hear a tiny sound, no louder than a ding.
When I look down, to my surprise,
It's a tiny mouse trying to get some supplies.

I don't kill the mouse but hide it away.
I don't tell anyone what I did and it's still my secret today.

It's not too bad for his first attempt at a rhyming scheme.